Monday, 22 November 2010

The Big Trip North - Day 3

In my last blog post about our big trip, I asked the question: "Two museums in two cities - can we make it in time to Aberdeen for the Gordon Highlanders museum AND the Black Watch Museum in Perth?"

And the answer?

Well, no...we couldn't. Circumstances meant that our schedule went out of the window, but we still had a very rewarding third day.

We started off early, and set off for Aberdeen. A journey we'd planned to take two and a half hours took nearly three, mainly due to rain which had been described by the weather forecast I'd checked online as "light". If that was light rain, I'd hate to see it heavy. We had to contend with heavy rain and flooding on the road which meant we had to drive very carefully...

We made it to Aberdeen in one piece, and spent several very rewarding hours at the Gordon Highlanders museum.

We'd all been to the Gordons museum before, but that didn't stop us appreciating it anew. It's a fantastic museum with plenty to see. In addition they have a fantastic cafe which provided us with a filling lunch, and later with tea and scones.

One of the displays in the museum.

It was also a pleasure to meet up with Anne Park again. Anne volunteers at the Gordons museum, and also does a lot of work with the War Memorials Project - I'd met her at the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies a couple of years ago and it was nice to meet her again.

The weather, combined with the time we spent at the Gordons meant that we would have been pushing ourselves to ridiculous levels to make it to the Black Watch museum, so we resolved to leave it for another trip - our apologies to the people of Perth - we'll come again another time!

So that was our big trip north. We didn't cover everything we'd planned to, but it was a rewarding and pleasureable trip. Most of that was due to my travelling companions Sandy and Barrie. Thanks guys, you made the trip what it was.

Serious academic study took place...

Collectively we owe thanks to everyone who made us feel welcome at every location we went to. We were made to feel at home by everyone we met - you really can't fault Highland hospitality.

Some things we learned from our trip (which I won't explain any further):

  • You should never grill a scotch pie
  • If you're going to guess someone's nationality, don't assume they're Russian
  • Brazilians can be amusing in the right context
  • Driving into a river at 60mph is a very bad idea

One final serious thing I learned. The country I live in can be incredibly beautiful. We should appreciate what we have on our own doorstep, and we should take the opportunity to see it while we can.

We've already started planning our next trip. Look out Berwick on Tweed, the boys are coming....

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